ABUJA (The T.A. Report) ― The streets and government-run workplaces in Abuja have become deserted as civil servants celebrate Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary in grand style.
Reports indicate that “as a show of patriotism”, thousands of workers have travelled out of the Federal Capital Territory as early as the last week of August in preparation for the big day.
Though there is no circular to the effect, many are not expected to return to work until the end of October after the monthly salary must have been paid.
“It is an unwritten rule,” explained a director at one of the country’s juicy ministries, who pleaded to not have his name mentioned because “Big Brother DSS is watching”.
“Nigerian civil servants are not only very patriotic, we are also religious people who love spending time with family and friends. If you notice, whenever it is Christmas, Easter, or Eid period, we also take our time to celebrate.
“Making Nigeria a better country cannot be achieved in the offices alone,” he added. “We also need to encourage people to travel, go on vacation to relax their mind and muscle, and go for vigils and 7-day revival or redemption programmes in order to put the economy in prayers.”
“It is really just an attestation to the government’s commitment to worker welfare and the unfettered freedom of its people,” he said.
According to statistics not gotten from civil servants, many employees of the Federal Government resume at work an average of three hours late and close for the day at least two hours before official lights out.
“We must not forget that Fridays are partly work-free days as well, especially for Muslim faithful,” said the director. “There are two standard options: it is either you go home from the Jum’at service at noon, or you don’t resume at work until after the prayer.”
Meanwhile, civil servants in Nigeria are also notorious for their unique hospitality.
“They never get tired of seeing your face,” a resident of Apo Resettlement, Alamu Onibode, tells the T.A. Report as he wears a tired smile.
“I’ve been trying to get a permit from the Ministry of Science and Technology since 1992,” he explained. “But each time I visit, the employees there always nicely ask me to come back. Sometimes, their network is down. Sometimes, the boss has travelled. Sometimes, they won’t be able to trace my file. But never have they completely shut me out.”
“They don’t even ask that I sign in anymore. All the security guards already know me by name,” he chuckled.
Nigeria is noted for its generosity in recruiting people into the civil service. The country, unlike many others, does not discriminate against people who are stark computer illiterates, unable to pass aptitude tests, cannot communicate effectively, or do not even have college degrees.
As a result, the Nigerian civil service is one of the most colourful and versatile in the world. Someone employed as a secretary, for instance, may spend most of their time plaiting the hair of coworkers or selling call cards. Also, it is not uncommon to find a deputy director of ICT being more productive at picking beans during work hours.
Caveat: Note that this piece is a fictional satire aimed purely at humour. The words above are nothing but products of a drunk writer’s imagination. We hereby refuse to accept responsibility for the results of anyone’s credulity or mischief. Do not take us serious. We repeat; do not take us serious! … On second thought though, maybe you should do just that.